Wildfire in Cache Valley August 2013. Millville fire burn line looking North toward Logan. Updated info Here: http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/3631/
Above: Wildfire scars near Blacksmith Fork Canyon.
A detail cropped from the above photo shows a tree starting to burn on Millville face.
I have a history with looking up in my photography that started a dozen or so years ago when my friend Jason Byers encouraged me to get closer and exaggerate the perspective of Cleveland skyscrapers. As a result my approach to large objects has always had two competing views. One that says step as far back as necessary to make absolutely sure the perspective is correct and the other that says get too close and look up. To get the perspective correct I use a tilt and shift lens when possible and correct perspective in photoshop for images taken with non PC lenses. For years I have been very comfortable with the way I see the world and what I want to photograph in it. Lately I have been experimenting with selective focus via tilting the lens as a way to creatively stretch they way I look at things. The images in this post a outside of my comfort zone photographically in two ways, one being that I don’t shoot fall color landscapes. They have not been of interest until I moved to Utah and I’m still not sure what I think beyond the color. The second thing that takes me out of my comfort zone is the play of focus. The lens tilt makes things look as if the are miniature and is best accomplished by looking down on the subject. However with the above shot I am clearly looking up. I enjoy the confusion that it causes. The western landscapes is huge and are always photographed to emphasize the size. However this stretch of mine is forcing these huge thing to appear way smaller than they are and thus subvert their western-ness.
Below is a more traditional angle of view using the tilt effect. Most photographers are aware that these effects can be accomplished in newer versions of Photoshop and many iOS apps however I personally would recommend using the lens itself. There is something about committing to the focus area you are interested in and locking that in the RAW file that gives the stretch impact. The lenses are available to rent from Borrow Lenses dot com and Lens Rentals dot com.
My top 5 images for 2011 start with this image from Little Cottonwood Canyon. Photographed on very foggy Fathers Day weekend. What pleases me most about this image is the sense of scale. The massiveness of the rock, the angle, the fact that the rocks disappear into the clouds.
Lower Geyser Basin, Yellowstone National Park. This has to be the dreamiest landscape I have taken.
Lower Geyser Basin, Yellowstone National Park. The multiple bands of color and texture make this a favorite of the year.
Fall Color in the Wellsville Canyon. Dreamy and vibrant, not what I was expecting to find in northern Utah.
Cliffs and fog in Blacksmith Fork Canyon. Similar to the first image in that it has cliffs and fog, here though I have opted for a panoramic cropping and a brighter overall feel. This landscape is successful to me because the sense of hight and angle of view. It has many places that you can get lost in it. This would be a great image to have a lone hiker or rock climber in. Or better yet a majestic bull elk standing at the edge of a rock.
All images were captured with my trusty Leica M8 and either a 35 or 50 mm Zeiss lens.
©2011 Andrew McAllister
Came across this unused ranger station last week when driving up Left Hand Fork off of Blacksmith Fork Canyon. The canyon is just a few miles from our new place in Logan Utah. The feeling I got from this little building did not mesh with the color that came out of the camera. I decided to alter the image to convey the mood I felt when I was there. Increasing the contrast, slight desaturation and a cooler color balance overall. Those changes emphasize the depth of the canyon and the isolation of the location.